India Blown Away In Hambantota
Sri Lanka 139-1 (Tharanga 59no) beat
India 138 (Perera 3-19) by 9 wickets
Second One-Day International, Hambantota
Despite a valiant 65 from opener Gautam Gambhir, India could muster only 138 after electing to bat against Sri Lanka in the second One-Day International in Hambantota. Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews blew the upper and middle-order away and took three wickets each, while Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga then had no problem knocking off the required runs.
The day had begun well for India as they raced to 31 without loss after three overs; the home side’s bowlers struggling in the forecast blustery conditions. Debutant Isuru Udana’s first over went for 16 runs and lasted 11 balls, while Lasith Malinga looked unthreatening.
However, the introduction of Thisara Perera heralded a remarkable momentum shift as he dispensed with Virender Sehwag in the first of what would be three consecutive wicket maidens. Sehwag fell to a diving catch on Perera’s follow-through, and when he claimed Sri Lanka’s nemesis Virat Kohli – feathering a catch to Kumar Sangakkara – in his next over the hosts were back in the match.
Angelo Mathews replaced Malinga and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of Rohit Sharma to a poor shot, before Perera returned to complete his hat-trick of maidens by inducing Suresh Raina to drag onto his stumps. MS Dhoni came to the wicket and stayed with Gambhir for almost seven overs – taking the score to 60 – before he edged behind, and was followed five overs later by Irfan Pathan for just six. R Ashwin played nicely in making 21 off 15 balls, but contemplated running three to third man and was run-out trying to get back.
Throughout all of this carnage, Gambhir was playing fluently and brought up his 50 from 71 balls, before he was last man out for 65 in the 34th over. India had made just 138 and, because of their atrocious showing, Sri Lanka would now face eight overs in the run chase before lunch.
Apart from an early drop of Tillakaratne Dilshan by Sehwag, the home side’s openers were untroubled and raced to 64 for none by the time the break came. After the resumption, they would need only another 11.5 overs to knock off the rest of the runs, with Dilshan falling just prior to the end for 50 from 49 balls and Upul Tharanga ending with 59 from 60 balls.
With that, Sri Lanka had levelled the series and the teams will now convene in Colombo for the third ODI on Saturday.
© Cricket World 2012
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